For us modern consumers, the true malls are digital: you can buy almost anything without ever leaving the comfort of your own bed. Who wants to sweat it out in traffic and tire yourself?
But the real enemy of a shopaholic, like any other vice, is the one wielding the cash. With online shopping, the old adage to “shop ‘til you drop” doesn’t really apply anymore. Plus, with sales and promos online left and right, spending is very easy to do - though not very wise all the time.
To preserve your money and dignity, follow these helpful tips to become a smart, savvy shopper of today:
While shopping IS fun, a lot of us treat it as a knee-jerk reaction to what’s happening to and around us: boredom, stress, procrastination, and yes, even heartbreak. Before clicking that app, do a double take and ask yourself: is this is an escapist response? A good run or a movie might be a smarter and more frugal investment of your time and money.
4. Create a budget and stick to it
5. Work hard with good business karma.
If you have to intercept the delivery guy in order to keep your wife or husband from finding out you bought something AGAIN, then it is high time to re-evaluate your shopping habits. Big ticket items should be discussed with your partner, especially if you’re living together. Treating it as a joint effort can make for a more harmonious co-habitation.
6. Try to sleep on it
One useful trick in making any important and costly decision is to sleep on it first. A refreshed and relaxed mind is more likely to make a responsible decision than a tired, stressed one.
7. Avoid what tempts you
If the mere sight of that colorful shopping app is so tempting, UNINSTALL it. Just reinstall it on special or scheduled periods. The convenience and “deals” will always just be a click away.
Budgeting apps like Simple Daily Budget and Money Lover can help plan your monthly budget and determine how much to set aside for savings, bills, and shopping. Also, install your bank’s online app to keep track of withdrawals, purchases, and credit. Seeing the bigger picture of your finances has a sobering effect – even to the most ardent online shopper.
9. Auto-debit your savings and spending
What makes online shopping so enticing is its convenient and habit-forming process. The good news is the same advantages can be applied to planning your finances. Auto-debit your bills and other payments online – especially for your insurance and mutual fund. What is left after setting aside for your needs can be allotted as free-spending money for online deals.
Online shopping, no matter its boon and virtues, is here to stay. As a consumer, it’s your responsibility to be conscious of your spending habits – and to make adjustments when necessary. Happy (responsible) shopping!